September 21, 2007

Bush & Sons, General Contractors.

Well, now, Mrs. Ross, I understand you have some concerns about our latest bill, so daddy's sent me over to talk about it with you. I'll be straight with you from the start: I don't know what half of this stuff is, either, but, heck, we'll muddle through it together, OK?

Yes, ok, I can see how you'd be upset that we said it'd cost $5,000 to fix your shower and now we've billed you for $5,000,000. No, I don't know where you're going to get that kind of money... uh, can you, like, mortgage your house, or something? That's a thing, isn't it? Mortgage? Funny sounding word. Mort-gage. Mortgage.

What? Oh, sorry. No, you really do have to pay it, I'm sorry, Mrs. Ross. Well, no, that's fair, we didn't actually fix your shower at all. Actually, we decided to start with the toilet, which is where we've concentrated most of our efforts for the last few years or so. No, no, I understand you thinking that was a mistake, especially in light of the fact that it turns out there was nothing wrong with the toilet, and you really wanted that shower fixed. But we didn't know that, going in! We had a gut feeling the shower and toilet shared the same bad plumbing! Yes, I know they are in different bathrooms, but the bathrooms sure look a lot the same, don't they? Didn't you find that a LITTLE suspicious? It's a logical conclusion. Sometimes you just know things, despite what people tell you, and you just have to take a leap. Ok, sure, yes, a $5,000,000 leap.

Yes, I suppose your grandkids will be paying for this shower until they're your age. Sometimes life works that way. Actually, it's not really the shower they'll be paying for, remember -- we decided not to work on the shower. It's the toilet that we're billing you for. Ok, fair, that's not fixed, either -- we kind of took it apart and, I'll be honest, we realized we're not plumbers. We have no idea how to put it back together. Man we feel really bad about that. That there is really where a lot of your expense comes from -- I mean, if we'd just taken it apart and put it together in a month, you can see how our bill would have been a lot smaller, huh? But it's been, what, years now? I gotta tell you, we feel as terrible about this as you do. It's been really hard on the boys. Well, not the boys in accounting, but the boys actually doing the work. Well, also not our suppliers. They're pretty happy, I gotta admit.

I know I threw that party for my boys and said we were "done" years ago... but that really needs to be put into context, you see. When I said "done" I meant "done with the hard part," which was convincing you to let us tear up your bathroom. I mean, we knew once we got in there wasn't going to be any finishing for years. No, in retrospect, I guess I could have been clearer about that. But that's ancient history, now. I mean, you've got a new toilet to look forward to, someday! Right, and a shower, if we get to it.

And of course, there was the damage to the area around the toilet caused by old Jim Blackwater. Oh, yah, I totally agree, I'm not even gonna argue -- he is one creepy dude. I'll give you that. I'm not gonna pull yer leg, Mrs. Ross -- he's not really a contractor. No license, no nothing. He's just a drifter who really likes tools, but he was too kooky to ever get a license. But, you know, recently we've been a bit short on men, so we thought, hey, he has his own hammer, and chances are good that at least SOME of the things he'll hit with it will be nails, so, why the heck not? I mean, it's not our money we're spending, so you can see our thought process, right? Look, I'm real sorry if he's been givin' your daughter the creepy eye, but to be fair you gotta admit she shows a lot of leg for a 15-year-old.

You gotta unnerstand, we could have read some book on fixing toilets and just gotten the tools and put in the time and acted like them pointy-headed city wonk plumbers do. But we're from Texas, and we do things a little differently there; we shoot from the hip. We don't like them fancy college boys tellin' us they know what to do just because they got book learnin' and experience and all that. Well, ok, fair, I did go to college too, but I didn't go to class, so I don't think it counts against me.

But, look, Mrs. Ross, try to see the bright side: I think we're making real progress, finally. No, I mean, with the toilet situation. We haven't had any progress on the shower, no; I keep explaining that we decided to do the toilet first. Yes, ok, fine, it wasn't broken, but it could have been, and it is now, so I think we should just keep doing the exact same thing we've been doing until it suddenly starts working.

Also, while I have you here, we've identified some problems with your sink now that the plumbing around the toilet is all dug up, and the boys are real eager to have a crack at that. Heck, we're probably gonna have to hire some more apprentices! Look, don't worry about the cost, yet -- those aren't final totals.

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